A TELEVISION drama crew filmed a love scene in the Senedd without the permission of the National Assembly, it was revealed yesterday.
Last week’s episode of gritty S4C series Caerdydd featured a man and a younger woman making love in a baby-changing room in the Senedd near the debating chamber.
But a spokeswoman for the Assembly said the production company had only asked permission to film a “conversation”.
She said: “The makers of Caerdydd filmed at the Senedd on March 14 with the permission of the National Assembly for Wales.
Permission was granted to film in the Neuadd area, the corridors of the building and for one scene in the baby changing room.
“However, the National Assembly was told that this scene was a conversation scene and was not aware of its full content.
“The company was allowed to film the scene in good faith.”
The sequence shows the couple sneaking into the room for their passionate encounter. The scene does not involve any nudity, although the couple are clearly shown making love.
Conservative AM William Graham, a member of the Assembly Commission which has responsibility for the running of the building, last night expected people to be “outraged”.
He did not believe the production company needed to use the actual Senedd for such a scene.
He said: “This is obviously unpleasant and unnecessary.”
Mr Graham continued: “Potentially it’s distressing for people who don’t like the idea of one of the buildings they funded being used in this way.”
Adding that the incident would have implications for further dramas filmed at the Senedd, he said: “One doesn’t want censorship but nothing that is controversial or concerning should happen.
“Unfortunately, it makes it more difficult for people to use it.”
The AM said he could not imagine the Speaker of the House of Commons permitting such a scene to be filmed in parliament.
He said: “My mother would be outraged – and I think rightly so.”
John Beyer of Media-watch-UK insisted closer attention must be paid to how public buildings are used in dramas.
“I hope the Welsh Assembly will be cautious next time – if there is a next time – and I think other people who are responsible for public buildings will take note,” he said.
The revelation comes at a time when the Assembly’s broadcasting committee is investigating the future of public service television in Wales.
S4C is a publicly-funded institution which last year received a Government grant of more than £90m.
A spokeswoman for the broadcaster said: “S4C is in contact with Fiction Factory, the producers of Caerdydd, and is looking into the matter.”
Caerdydd is advertised with the tagline: “Love and lust at the cutting edge of capital city life”.
The episode, broadcast after the 9pm watershed on Sunday, April 13, featured two civil servants – Stephen and 29-year-old Lea.
Stephen is played by Dewi Rhys Williams, who won the Bafta Cymru award for Best Actor for his role as Alan in Cymer Dy Siâr.
Alys Thomas, who plays Lea, has appeared in the adult-themed BBC drama series Mistresses.
We were told in good faith it was a conversation scene, say Assembly chiefs.
Glossy drama follows hectic social lives of young professionals
Caerdydd hit our screens in January 2006 and immediately attracted attention for its raunchy storylines, graphic scenes of sex and drug-taking and heavy use of English.
Examining the highs and lows of city-living, S4C’s glamorous new drama series followed a group of professional 20 and 30-somethings going about their daily lives in Cardiff.
Their complex friendships and relationships are set against a backdrop of relentless socialising.
Caerdydd stars Mine All Mine actress Siwan Morris, who plays Ceri, the stuck-up owner of a trendy Cardiff Bay noodle bar.
Ceri shares a chic apartment with Elen (Rhian Green), a journalism student, and Lea (Alys Thomas), who has recently moved to Cardiff to work in the National Assembly. While their living quarters are a lesson in cool city living, the girls don’t always get it right when it comes to managing their own lives.
At the time of its release S4C’s commissioning editor for drama, Angharad Jones called it “a stylish, new drama about modern, urban Welsh- speakers living in a bilingual city”.
Its third series, now showing each Sunday at 9pm, promises a few new faces in town looking for a fresh start, as well as some familiar ones getting up to old tricks.
Peter may be making it big in business, but his personal life is as tricky as ever, while new girl Natasha is desperate to climb the media ladder, but she'll have to knock Elen off her perch first.
There’ll also be surprises in store for Lea and Kate. Oh, and did we mention the body in the Bay?